Amid hills and valleys, a bull ranch (manade) under the pine trees, abandoned quarries, and quaint villages with narrow, shady lanes. A wonderful glimpse of the Gard.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in the car park of the Foyer Rural, on the right at the first roundabout as you come into Aujargues from Nimes (D40).
(D) From the car park, at the signpost for Devant la Vièle, set out towards Aujargues. Go over the footbridge, carry on past the Foyer Rural and go up the steps that lead to the church. Turn right onto Rue de la République, and after 120m turn right onto Rue Font de Gaillarde. When the road joins back up with Rue de la République (1), cross over the road and turn left onto Chemin des Oliviers.
Carry on past a small chapel and at the fork take the lefthand path. Ignore all the paths off to the left and right, and stay on the main path until you reach a junction with a DFCI (Defense des forêts contre l’incendie – Protection of forests from fire) marked access track (there is a stone marker in the middle of the junction).
(2) Turn right, ignore the next path off to the right, and carry on until you reach the junction Le Terme Blanc.
Turn right towards La Manade, and walk along beside the bull ranch until you reach a fork.
(3) Take the righthand path and continue through the forest towards Laurisset. A DFCI access track from the left joins the marked track and continues as far as Laurisset.
Carry straight on towards Mazet de Lebrun, which you will reach 100m further on. This mazet (farmhouse) is decorated with numerous carved stones in the shape of animals.
(4) Follow the path to the right for about 50m until you reach the sign for 4 chemins d’Alès, then turn left towards Playcine (direct) through the pine forest.
Carry straight on, ignoring the road off to the left and the next two paths off to the right, until you reach the football pitch.
Go around the football pitch to the left until you reach the crossing with Chemin de la Ninarde.
(5) Turn right onto Chemin de Playcine until you reach the junction with the same name. Turn left onto the path towards Puech du Pendu, and after 150m, cross the road and carry on down the path opposite you.
(6) At Puech du Pendu, turn right towards Le Couvent (voie verte) . The path winds through the pine forest and then joins the D40. Continue left for 50m and then take the path to the right under the road.
(7) After the tunnel, turn right again onto the small road that runs alongside the main road. Carry on as far as the first crossroads and then take a sharp left through the vineyards. At the end of the vineyards, take a right and then an immediate left to reach the Voie Verte cycle path.
Cross the cycle path and turn left onto a path that runs parallel with the cycle path (do not take the cycle path).
After 50m, the path turns to the right and then comes out onto the D140.
(8) Cross the D140 and carry straight on opposite you down Chemin de Lissac. After 700m, cross the Lissac to the left and then carry on to the right down the path alongside the stream.
(9) At the Valcroze crossing, take the path opposite you that runs alongside the Lissac towards Chemin du Rieu. Go past a stone cross, and as you get closer to the houses, the waymarks lead off to the right on a paved road.
(10) At the signpost for Chemin du Rieu, turn right towards the Bois de Dumas. Cross the stream again and follow the path that takes you to the right of a little house.
After following along a stone wall, the path joins the Chemin de Junas at the Bois de Dumas crossing. Continue down the path to the right and at the next fork take the lefthand path.
Keep following the waymarks, ignoring any other paths off to the right or left.
(11) Just before you reach a large crossing with a hut and a small stone shelter on the lefthand side, take the path to the right. Stay on this path, which is then joined by another track from the right.
Bear left until you reach numbers 589 and 593 on Chemin d’ Aubais then take the path that leads up to the right.
At a crossing, take the path to the left which turns into a trail and then leads out onto the D140.
(12) Turn left towards the village of Junas, and keep going until you reach the Place de l'Horloge. Turn right down Route d’Aujargues (D105), and carry straight on until you reach the fourth road to the left (Chemin des Ayres). Turn left and walk 20m down Chemin des Ayres.
(13) At the signpost for Chemin de Poussel turn right down the little lane that comes out at the Château eau crossroads. Carry straight on towards the old quarries.
Walk left around the water tower to take the path down to the quarries. Carefully follow the signs which will take you around the quarries, between the old and new excavation areas to then bring you back out onto the road at the Rond Point des Rencontres roundabout.
(14) Carry on towards Voie Ludevia (voie verte) down Chemin de Corbières, ignoring all the other paths off to the left or right until you reach Corbières river.
Cross over the river and take the path to the right 200m further on, and then turn immediately left onto the path that joins the cycle path (voie verte).
(15) At the signpost for Voie Ludevia, turn right onto the cycle path towards Pont de Corbières, and carry on down the cycle path over two bridges.
(16) At Pont de Corbières, turn left towards the Bois de Clapisse. Keep going straight on down the main path, which ends up running alongside the D40 until you get to the signpost for Le Château.
Turn left and cross the D40 at the roundabout, then turn right to get back to the Foyer car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 70m
1 : km 0.53 - alt. 79m - Left onto the Chemin des Oliviers
2 : km 2.4 - alt. 134m - Right down the track
3 : km 3.12 - alt. 129m - The Manade (bull ranch)
4 : km 3.89 - alt. 128m - The Mazet de Lebrun farmhouse
5 : km 4.8 - alt. 106m - The crossing with Chemin de Ninarde
6 : km 5.32 - alt. 102m - Puech du Pendu
7 : km 6.59 - alt. 74m - Right after the tunnel
8 : km 8.14 - alt. 64m - Crossing with the D40
9 : km 9.23 - alt. 60m - Valcroze
10 : km 9.97 - alt. 51m - Chemin du Rieu
11 : km 11.08 - alt. 84m - Right before the large crossing
12 : km 12.58 - alt. 73m - Left onto the D40
13 : km 13.03 - alt. 83m - Chemin de Poussel
14 : km 14.39 - alt. 84m - Rond Point des Rencontres
15 : km 15.47 - alt. 56m - Voie Ludevia
16 : km 15.88 - alt. 57m - Pont de Corbières bridge
D/A : km 17.79 - alt. 70m
There are yellow waymarks all the way along the route.
There is a water fountain in the old quarries.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The old quarries of Junas (also known as the Carrières du Bon Temps) is a magnificent and magical site, shaped by over 2000 years of excavation.
The Carrières du Bon Temps were opened by the Gallo-Romans and owe their name to the small depression they lie in, the Combe du Bon Temps.
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Important note: Ignore the numbers marked on the ground and stick to the VisoRando instructions instead
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Note: To help with orientation, "tricky" sections have been highlighted with blue dotted markers.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.